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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Application & Admission

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Application for admission to the Pre-Licensure Program is a separate process, in addition to being admitted to the University. Admission is competetive; meeting minimum requirements does not guarentee acceptance.  Application periods occur twice a year. Application deadlines are always the third Friday of fall and spring semester.

The spring 2019 application is now available. The application deadline is Friday, September 14, 2018.  

[PDF] Spring 2019 Pre-Licensure Program Application (2 MiB)


 ***Due to changes in the application criteria, students must follow the requirements for their assigned catalog year. The catalog year is listed at the top of each students Degree Audit Report (DARS). 


Application Criteria  (Catalog 18-19)

  1. Completion of 30 semester credits.
  2. A minimum total cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Completion of required Core Pre-requisites with a minimum C grade.

Application Criteria   (All Catalogs prior to 18-19)

  1. Completion of 30 semester credits.
  2. A minimum total cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Completion of required Core Pre-requisites with a minimum C grade.

Pre-requisite Courses

Students must complete pre-requisite courses for application and admission eligibility. All coursework must be completed with a minimum C letter grade.

Core Pre-requisites must be completed prior to progam application:

  • BIOL 220 Human Anatomy
  • BIOL 330 Principles of Human Physiology
  • CHEM 111 Chemistry of Life Processes Part II
  • ENG 101 Composition
  • GEOG 103 Intro to Cultural Geography
  • KSP 235 Human Development OR PSYC 343: Intro to Developmental Psychology
  • NURS 101W Courage, Caring & Teambuilding
  • STAT 154 Elementary Statistics

*Core Preq-requisite courses may be repeated one time each, but only to improve a grade of C+ or lower.

Support Pre-requisites must be completed prior to beginning program:

  • BIOL 270 Microbiology
  • FCS 242 Nutrition for Healthcare Professionals
  • PSYC 101 Intro to Psychological Science
  • NURS 282 Pathophysiology for Healthcare Professionals
  • NURS 284 Pharmacology for Healthcare Professionals
  • NURS 286 Relationship-based Care in Nursing Practice

~Students must have a minimum grade of a C in both BIOL 220 and BIOL 330 to enroll in NURS 282 and NURS 284.

Application Procedures

All students making application to the Pre-Licensure Program are required to submit the program application, complete the HESI Admission Assessment Exam and participate in the group interview. Detailed application instructions and procedures are included in the program application, which is posted online 2 months prior to the application deadline. 

English Language Proficiency Requirement  (Catalog 18-19) 

Applicants to the Pre-Licensure Program from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate minimum English proficiency requirements in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL iBT minimum score of 84 with a minimum speaking score of 26
  • TOEFL PBT minimum score of 560
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 on all modules

[PDF] English Language Proficiency Requirement Document (303 KiB)

Admission Ranking

Each applicant pool is rank ordered using the Core Pre-requisite GPA, the cumulative HESI Exam score and the group interview score.

  • The Core Pre-requisite GPA is 50%      
  • The cumulative HESI score is 25%      
  • The group interview score is 25%        

The School of Nursing will offer admission to the top 40 students from each applicant pool.

Admission Notification

Admission notification letters will be emailed on Wednesday, six weeks after the application deadline. All letters will be emailed to the applicant’s email address provided to the School of Nursing on the application. Admitted students are required to attend a mandatory orientation and advising session held the following week.


Full admission to the Pre-Licensure Program requires students to fulfill the following requirements prior to program start date:

  • Certified as a nursing assistant, and listed as active on a Nursing Assistant Registry in the United States. [PDF] (Begins for Fall 2019 admission) (375 KiB)
  • Completion of required Support Pre-requisites with a minimum C grade.
  • Approval to work with patients without supervision from the Minnesota Department of Health Background check.

HESI Admission Assessment Exam

Pre-Licensure Program applicants must complete the HESI Admission Assessment Examination for admission consideration. The HESI Examination is a computerized exam administered by the School of Nursing. Applicants are tested on the following 6 academic tests:

  • Anatomy & Physiology: Provides coverage of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems. (30 items)
  • Chemistry: Contains test items that cover matter, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, etc. (30 items)
  • Grammar: Contains basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses in grammar, commonly occurring grammatical errors, etc. (55 items)
  • Math: Focuses on math skills needed for healthcare fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, household measures, general math facts, etc. (55 items)
  • Reading Comprehension: Provides reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding meaning of words in context, passage comprehension, making logical inferences, etc. (55 items)
  • Vocabulary & General Knowledge: Contains vocabulary terms that are used commonly in both general English speaking and in the healthcare fields. (55 items)

HESI Testing Policies

  • Applicants are allowed 4 hours to complete the 6 academic tests.
  • Students are eligible to sit for the HESI Exam after completion of BIOL 330: Principles of Human Physiology, or an approved substitution.
  • Applicants are allowed two testing attempts on the HESI Exam each semester during the regular academic school year.
  • The applicant's highest cumulative score will be used toward admission ranking.
  • HESI Exam scores are valid for 1 year.
  • ***Calculators are prohibited during the Math academic test***

HESI Testing Dates

All HESI Admission Assessment Testing takes placed in the basement computer labs in Wissink Hall. See application for payment and registration instructions.

First Attempt:

Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 11:00am - 3:30pm

Second Attempt:

Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 11:00am - 3:30pm

On-campus testing is available two Saturdays each semester during the regular academic school year. Testing dates are determined by the School of Nursing and will be posted to the School of Nursing website 2 months prior to the application deadline. Applicants are responsible for being informed of the testing dates and their availability.

Scheduling accommodations will be made for students with extenuating circumstances; documentation may be required. These student applicants are required to notify the Student Relations Coordinator  one week prior to application deadline; unless extenuating circumstance prevents advanced notification. The Student Relations Coordinator and student will work together to schedule an alternate testing date. HESI exam(s) must be completed 2 weeks prior to admission notifications.

Distant student applicants, or others unable to complete the HESI exam during the on-campus dates must make testing arrangements at a secure Prometric Test Center. Applicants are responsible for contacting the School of Nursing Advisor for arrangements 1 week prior to the application deadline. HESI Exam(s) must be completed 2 weeks prior to admission notifications.

HESI Payment & Registration

The cost of the HESI exam is the responsibility of the applicant and must be paid for each testing attempt. To ensure payment, applicants must complete the HESI Admission Assessment Exam Cost Sheet, included in application materials, and pay the appropriate fee to the Cashiers Office. Distant applicants may mail the Cost Sheet and fee to the Cashiers Office. Confirmation of Payments must be returned to the School of Nursing Office 48 hours prior to scheduled exam.

Students can expect to receive an email within 24 hours after submitting the Confirmation of Payment to the School Nursing. The email will instruct applicants to electronically register for the exam. Students must be registered for the exam 48 hours prior to the testing date.

No refunds are available.

HESI Testing Accommodations

Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities. Students on file with Accessibility Resources are advised to schedule an individual appointment with the Student Relations Coordinator (SRC) by contacting the School of Nursing Advising Office. Prior to the appointment, students should pay for the HESI Exam. The Confirmation of Payment should be submitted directly to the SRC.

Following the advising appointment, students must complete Section 1 of the Alternative Test Agreement Form and schedule appointment with Accessibility Resources to make testing arrangements. Students must contact the Accessibility Resources Testing Coordinator at least 3 school days prior to exam date to schedule a testing time. Alternative HESI Exams are administered by Accessibility Resources M-F 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

HESI Exams must be completed 2 weeks prior to Pre-Licensure Program admission notification.

HESI Preparation

Students can prepare for the HESI by brushing up on basic test taking strategies, and becoming familiar with the content covered by the test and the types of items included.

The official study guide, HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review by Evolve (4th edition), can be purchased at the on-campus Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Students will not be tested on the Biology or Physics sections, so there is no need to prepare for these subjects.

Unofficial study guides and reference materials may be available online, or at bookstores as well.

Group Interview

Pre-Licensure Program applicants must participate in an on-campus group interview for admission consideration. Each group interview may hold up to 5 students and will be conducted by two nursing faculty members.

After the application deadline, student applicants will be contacted via email with interview information including available dates, times and sign up. Interviews will take place in October and February during the respective application periods. Sample interview questions will be provided after interview date and time is confirmed.

The purpose of the interviews are to evaluate the student's:

  • Ability to communicate independently and within a group.
  • Ability to critically think and articulate their ideas.
  • Professional behavior in demeanor, dress, and interactions.

Pre-Nursing Student Handbook

Please review the Pre-Nursing Student Handbook for additional policies, requirements and information regarding the Pre-Licensure Program.